It’s been a tumultuous month for the Affordable Care Act (ACA) following a botched rollout that has included disastrously low enrollment estimates, a poorly “working” website, and health insurance policy cancellations that forced President Obama to issue an apology to the estimated millions of Americans losing their coverages as a result of implementation.
And now, the ACA has one couple weighing whether the time is right to file for divorce. The Brooklyn-based husband and wife met with CBS New York on Wednesday and admitted they may be forced to get a divorce to get health insurance.
Meet Nona and Aaron
Nona Willis Aronowitz and Aaron Cassara met at a party in 2008. “We kissed on a bean bag chair,” Aronowitz told the news affiliate, adding that they were married a year later.
The couple met at City Hall in Manhattan to make it official. “It was really sudden,” Aronowitz said. “It was basically because he needed health insurance, and I had a job that would give that to him.”
Four years later, the couple could be filing divorce papers for the same reason that brought them together.
“After Obamacare has rolled out, we realized that we would save thousands of dollars if we got divorced,” Aronowitz said.
Together, as family of two, they earn more than the $62,000 level to qualify for subsidies under ACA. Should they switch to cohabitation instead, they will qualify for the subsidies and could save hundreds of dollars a month on healthcare.
Critics of the ACA have been referring to this as the “marriage penalty” for a few months now, but it wasn’t until enrollment began that the reality started to fall on average Americans.
“I’m an educated, very well plugged-in person and I can’t figure it out,” Aronowitz said, adding that she and her husband are “deeply in love” but not the “marrying type,” so for them, the decision could very well be worthwhile.
“In other people’s cases, where marriage is really, really important to them and they had this big wedding and it was this sacred experience, I think it would be a really tough decision for them,” Aronowitz said.
The couple hasn’t decided what they will do just yet regarding a possible divorce. When more couples come to the realization of the extra costs, online divorce could be the best option for cutting back on time and money, but the idea of being “forced out” of marriage to avoid what could very well be financial disaster due to a lack of subsidies — if you’ve seen the figures, you’ll know what we mean — isn’t liable to sit well with the average citizen.